Local conservation officers are looking to the public to help identify those who shot and killed an elk with a crossbow along Highway 18 last week. (Submitted photo)

Local conservation officers are looking to the public to help identify those who shot and killed an elk with a crossbow along Highway 18 last week. (Submitted photo)

Robert Barron column: Elk poachers should be punished

I could only imagine the fate of these bozos if those east coast hunters ever got hold of them.

I found the picture of the dead elk that was found by the side of Highway 18 late last month with an arrow sticking out of its side disturbing.

The picture was sent to the Citizen by conservation officers who were looking for assistance in finding the culprit(s).

It wasn’t so much that the person or people who committed this horrendous crime likely didn’t have a hunting licence to legally take down the elk that upset me, it was simply the fact that they left it to rot without even an attempt to harvest any of the meat.

Other than the arrow that took its life, there were no signs of any human activity near the animal; which means that it was shot and probably immediately abandoned as these juvenile-minded people went to find some other activity to entertain them.

It seems obvious to me that these culprits could care less that they took out such an impressive looking creature just for their own amusement.

I can’t help think what would have happened to these guys if they were caught doing that where I spent much of my youth; in hunting and fishing communities on the east coast of Canada.

Moose was and still is king there, and there are enough of them to ensure a sufficient number of hunting licences are issued to see almost every family in each community get at least a quarter of one to last them through the winter months, and beyond.

Moose are huge creatures, the largest of the deer family, and just one can feed several families for some time.

I was never much of a hunter, but I’ve seen my friends and colleagues take down moose in clean and humane kills numerous times, and then meticulously clean and quarter them right at the kill site so that the fresh meat was not spoiled by leakage from the animal’s inner organs.

The proper cleaning of moose, rabbits, fish and other prey is a skill that has been passed down through the ages in those communities.

Moose meat was so prevalent when I lived there that the supermarket in the main town nearby would hardly have any meat from other sources for sale at all.

The only meat available at the store were anonymous frozen chunks in the deep freeze with no labels, so that you took your chances on exactly what kind of meat you bought and would only find out when it was thawed and cooked.

This has been a way of life for these industrious people for generations and I could only imagine the fate of these bozos who killed the elk on Highway 18 if those east coast hunters ever got hold of them.

The worst of it is that the dead elk on Highway 18 isn’t even an isolated case.

There have been at least four more instances of elk poaching near Mesachie Lake in the past two months, and concerned conservation officers are having trouble tracking these criminals down.

If anybody has any idea as to who would be responsible for such a travesty, you should call 1-877-952-7277 and report them.

They are wasteful, uncaring and threaten the few herds of wild elk left on Vancouver Island.

They deserve whatever the authorities can throw at them.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read